Walton Parish Nursing Prayer Letter

August 2021

Dear Friends of Walton Parish Nursing,

I was asked recently how things are going in Walton with our Parish Nursing service so I apologise for taking time to update you on the work.

Despite the pandemic we are blessed to have two very dedicated nurses in Lorna and John and they have done their best to keep things moving along.

Lorna has had face to face meetings with clients at last and she has welcomed a new volunteer, Hazel, who is also a Trustee and on the Management team. Hazel has also volunteered to train to teach Chair based exercises.

Lorna has had new referrals and she has attended a community cafe where she gives health advice and takes blood pressures. This also happens at other community hubs such as St Philip’s church and a local housing association in Walton.

Both Lorna and John provide transport to appointments, especially at hospital.

Lorna is in touch with a number of local initiatives which help the community in different ways, so she networks well and is aware of what is currently happening here. She also has the opportunity of spreading the word about Parish Nursing as she has been given a slot at a service at St Martin’s, Trimley, on September 5th, as they would like to access a Parish Nurse too.

John has been able to restart the No Labels group, which helps people with mental health issues. It has been particularly good for them to be able to meet in person. He has also arranged a sailing morning for clients, which took place in August. He is due to be part of a PNMUK focus group to discuss guidelines for mental health within Parish Nursing.

This shows how our work has sometimes been trailblazing, which is a privilege and an honour.

We were able to continue our Management Team meetings on Zoom but the last one in July was at church and in person again, which was very good.

Our volunteers were unable to hold chair based exercises during the past 18 or 19 months. However, on September 1st we are holding a Social event to welcome our clients back. Many have declined in health quicker than they would have done, due to lack of exercise and company, and we have seen some move on to Care Homes and sadly two clients have died (not of Covid). After meeting and becoming familiar with the venue again, we hope to start the exercise classes on September 8th. There are a few “rules” we have in place to keep people safe, such as wearing masks into the building (but not during exercises) and taking lateral flow tests if possible, so we hope people will not feel daunted by them.

Please pray for the above points, as well as a few extras below:

Lorna is currently on compassionate leave as her mother died this week after a long illness. Please pray that she will have time to adjust before returning to work.

We look forward to our Celebration service on Sunday 17th October (see invitation) at Seaton Road Methodist Church , when we hope to have Nick Swanson, a former Pastor at Maidstone Road Baptist Church, speak to us. It would be good to have you there if you can make it. Please pray about all the arrangements for this.

MRBC Sunday Service 29th August 2021

This week Mark will be exploring the choices we make in life and will be preaching from Joshua 24.

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For Reflection and Discussion

Read Joshua 24 again.

1. Knowing that God gives us a simple choice about trusting Christ or not, why do we often find that we have to make such a bewildering number of moral choices in life? How do we navigate our way through them as God’s people?

2. Why was it so important, do you think, that Joshua challenged the people as to whom they should serve as the conquest of Canaan ended and the people settled?

3. Why is it important to fear God particularly in developing a healthy spiritual life?

4. We are all familiar with the idea that we must serve the Lord, but why is sincerity and truth so important in our service?

5. Take time to reflect on those things in our lives and in our society right now that easily become idols in our lives. How do we rid ourselves of them and how can we support one another rin doing this?

MRBC Sunday Service 22nd August 2021

In our service this Sunday we will be praying for Afghanistan and Haiti and hear a talk from Graeme Ross, our Regional Minister on Casting your nets on the other side. 10-30am at the Church.

Unfortunately, we don’t have semon notes this week, but there will be material on Afghanistan and Haiti that you will be able to pray through. We do however have Graeme’s service video below.

For reflection and discussion

Read John 21:1-14

1. Would you like to have been one of Jesus’ first disciples? Why or why not?

2. Graeme talks about some portrayals of the Christian faith as easy and joy-filled. Has that been true for you? We know that in the Bible, the disciples faced all sorts of problems and difficulties? But how many of our problems have come through trying to serve God, or have they been a result of our own actions?

3. Look at verses 1 to 3. Some of the disciples were experienced fishermen but found what they were doing was fruitless even though they had fished for years. Graeme talks about the way in which we have “done” church the same way over the years but may seem fruitless in our labours? How do you think we may be “stuck in our ways” and not connecting with those who don’t know Jesus?

4. Make disciples or attend services? What is our primary goal as church?

5. Read verses 5-6. How may we “cast our nets on the other side” at MRBC? What sorts of things are connecting with people we know and bringing then to faith?

6. How willing are we to be led by God into doing new things at MRBC as we come out of the pandemic?

Prayer for Afghanistan and Haiti

Please look at the post below for the prayer points we used at church.

Appeals for Afghanistan and Haiti

Several of the charities and missions we support have appeals for both Afghanistan and Haiti. If God is calling you to donate then here are the links to Tearfund which is supporting appeals to both destinations at the moment. Whether you give or not, please pray.

Afghanistan Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/

Haiti Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/get-involved/donate/donation-forms/donation-form?appeal=%7B42C3FC40-5F67-4E14-904E-254AC44A2B90%7D&amount=50

FELIXSTOWE TOWN PASTORS

We also prayed for Felixstowe Town Pastors during the service. You can read more about their recent activities on the Churches Together Website.

Prayer for Afghanistan and Haiti

Prayer for Afghanistan

In the past week we have all looked with concern at pictures coming from Afghanistan as the Taliban have taken over the country again as western countries have withdrawn their forces. It has massive implications for many in that land, including the small Afghan Christian community, which already faces severe persecution. As with all these big events, how do we pray into this situation? Here’s some helpful advice from Pete Greig. He gives us some insights from a from someone whose organisation needs to remain anonymous for obvious reasons:

“The fear for the Afghan people is not so much the unknown, but rather the known: a brutal regime where daily life is filled with unbearable tension: regular public executions, oppression for women, fear of a knock at the door from the Taliban.

For too long people in Afghanistan have looked for salvation from Western powers. Well that hasn’t worked. It’s failed spectacularly. We need our brothers and sisters in the global church to take spiritual responsibility and stand with us in prayer. “

Let’s lift our prayers urgently to heaven for:

1. The Afghan church. Protection, peace and courage for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are understandably terrified. Let’s pray that they experience the Lord walking with them and among them, saying: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

2. Political and humanitarian solutions for the vast number of Afghan refugees, ordinary people suddenly displaced from their homes by the terror the Taliban. May they discover that “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and he knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)

3. Wisdom for world leaders as they seek to respond diplomatically, building an essential international consensus for peace. “Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;”(Proverbs‬ ‭8:14-15‬)

We will cover all of these in this prayer, so let’s pray:

Father, today we pray for Afghanistan.

In recent days we have witnessed the withdrawal of Western forces and the paramilitary overthrow of the country’s government by the Taliban.

We are deeply concerned about this unfolding situation and the consequences for the women, men and children living there.

Lord, You hear the cries and see the tears of those formed in Your own image.

We know that politics, diplomacy and international laws have an important part to play in creating and maintaining peace and stability. We pray for wisdom for international leaders in this moment.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

However, we also see starkly the limits of such endeavours. Human efforts alone cannot compel love of neighbour, let alone enemy; rather this is the transformational territory of Your word and Spirit.

So would You move Your hand to change the hearts and minds of the oppressors even now? Withhold evil and cultivate good, banish darkness and bring forth light.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

We declare Your nearness over those who have been abused and displaced, violated and oppressed. Would You open their ears and eyes to Your presence?

We pray for Your church there. Would You comfort and strengthen, protect and bless our sisters and brothers? As persecution draws close, would You draw closer still?

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Teach us how to respond as we place our hope in You and Your good and just plans for Your creation.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

For the sake of Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ

Amen (Source: EA)

Prayer for Haiti

One of the weaknesses of international media is that big stories can bury other really important news stories and this happened in the last week by ignoring a major tragedy in one of the world’s poorest nations.

On 14th August the country of Haiti was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7.5. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and people live in weakly built structures and has suffered devastating earthquakes before, the last being of magnitude 7.0 in 2010, which killed about 160,000 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage and the country hasn’t really got over it yet. The earthquake struck just six-weeks after the murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, and six year after destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew. Haitians fear this tragedy will further exacerbate medical shortages affecting the nation that also faces one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the western hemisphere. Things are a mess and is a major tragedy unfolding. Here’s a short video from Tearfund made about 5 days ago.

The death toll has now risen over 2000 but it is believed that there will be more casualties than this, although the area affected was much more rural this time. Most governmental help is coming from other American countries but international charities like Tearfund are also involved in the rescue effort. I’ve given more details on our website as well as information on how to donate. Amid such need, we call upon God who is our healer.

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Heavenly Father, so much pain has befallen the country of Haiti. We know that you are both a God of mercy and a God of justice. We ask that you be present in this situation. We lift up to you the families who have lost loved ones and friends to the earthquake. We pray for the first responders and for those who search for survivors in the aftermath. May the men, women, children, and elderly affected by this earthquake receive comfort, peace, and healing from you.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord, whenever a tragic situation befalls a nation, it can often take a while for all the details to unfold. We pray that those who are facing uncertainty now may cling to you. We can only imagine the fear that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are feeling in Haiti right now. They may be listening closely to the radio to the news for updates and are likely lifting up prayers to you know for comfort and guidance. Please bring them peace in the uncertainty. Remind them that you are always with them, even in the darkest valley. Show us how we can be of aid to our brothers and sisters in Haiti , not only through our prayers, but through our actions as well.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord, we pray for the Government of Haiti at this time as they mourn the murder of their President. Give them strength as they have to come to grips with the consequence of the earthquake. We pray for the international aid effort, that resources may be provided quickly to help survivors, support the health services and to provide shelter. We pray for Tearfund and other Christian agencies, that they may show the light and love of Jesus in their actions.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord Jesus, make Haiti new, a land where Gospel seeds are planted and godly fruit grows into an abundant harvest. And make us new, each and every day of our lives, so that we will abide in You, for Your glory and our joy.

We ask this in Jesus name,

Amen. (Source: Crosswalk)

Appeals for Afghanistan and Haiti

Several of the charities and missions we support have appeals for both Afghanistan and Haiti. If God is calling you to donate then here are the links to Tearfund which is supporting appeals to both destinations at the moment. Whether you give or not, please pray.

Afghanistan Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/

Haiti Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/get-involved/donate/donation-forms/donation-form?appeal=%7B42C3FC40-5F67-4E14-904E-254AC44A2B90%7D&amount=50

News from Town Pastors

Liz Livey the FTP prayer encourager writes:

“Last year, due to Covid, Latitude was cancelled alongside other festivals. This greatly impacted many whose livelihoods depend on such events. Following an invite from Festival Republic, a team of 22 people were involved with the Latitude Festival Pastors this year. It was a busy time which commenced with our amazing set up team, who prepared the space for the Pastors to work from.

You may have heard something of our weekend on BBC Radio Suffolk’s Sarah Lilley show or the ‘shout out’ we had on Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday. Additionally, during the weekend, Festival Pastors had a visit from Melvin Benn, CEO of Festival Republic with members of the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport to find out about the work of Festival Pastors at Latitude.

During their service over the weekend Festival Pastors assisted more than 700 people on their arrival to site with more than 100 other interventions where people needed assistance for a range of other issues. Individuals were helped with luggage, broken trolleys, erecting tents with some of the tent pegs and mallets we carry being required.

There was lost property, site patrols, many conversations, much listening, great interaction and collaboration with Festival Republic, stewards, taxi, and security teams… and so nice to meet up with old friends. The predicted storms over the site did not occur, and one team even reattached the wing of a fairy working in the arena!

In place of our café this year, we provided a prayer space with a Wall of Remembrance and Wall of Hope, as we considered what the last 17 months has wrought on our nation and the world. This offered a quiet peaceful place to pray, sit or reflect.

Hope cards were left in a basket; these had a blank space for prayer requests or thoughts on one side, perforated down the middle, and included a prayer to take away. A good number of Hope prayers were posted. Additionally, the Remembrance Wall was made up of hearts and flowers notes. Both walls were well used. People stayed to talk, relaxed on our two inflatable sofas, requested prayer for themselves and others. Prayers were for families, exam results, loved ones in hospital or dying, our planet, for mental health and wellbeing, for employment, families in crisis, loneliness, even praying with some couples soon to be married!

At the very heart of Town and Festival Pastors is prayer, and the intercessions of many in this nation and across the world, made a huge difference and brought immense encouragement to the whole team. We are so very grateful for your love, compassion and standing with us in prayer, without you it would not have been possible.”

Please pray for Felixstowe Town Pastors

Give thanks for a successful operation at Latitude.

For plans to restart in September at earlier hours on Saturday evenings.

That God will raise up a new Co-ordinator (paid), and volunteer Town Pastors and prayer team members.

MRBC Sunday Service 15th August 2021

This week we shall be exploring how God provides for us as we look at Genesis 22. The service is at 10-30am at the church.

The video referred to in the notes is below and is the full interview with Paul Williams. This video is courtesy David and Jan Green of British Christian TV who live in Congleton and Paul is the Pastor of their local church.

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FOR REFLECTION & DISCUSSION

Start by reading Genesis 22 again.

1. How important are God’s promises to you? These were the small number that Mark mentioned in the service: Proverbs 3:5-6, Philippians 4:19, Hebrews 13:6, Jeremiah 29:11. What do they tell us about God and His relationship to us? Are there any promises in the Bible precious to you personally?

2. Why was it important to Abraham and Isaac that they went through this episode in their lives. What did they learn about God? What did they learn about themselves?

3. What was different about God giving up His Son to death? Look at Romans 8:32 again and reflect on its significance for us.

4. Have you ever been though an experience where you felt God didn’t come through for you as you thought He would? Do you know why? How may the stories of Abraham and Lot help us in understanding the will and purposes of God and help us have lives where we can confidently live by faith and not by sight?

MRBC Sunday Service 8th August 2021

Mark is continuing our series on Abraham this morning with the sad story of Lot – citizen of Sodom. 10-30am at the church.

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For Reflection and Discussion

Read Genesis 19

1. Take a look at these passages and see what you can work out what the sins of Sodom actually were: Ezekiel 16:44-52, 2 Peter 2:4-10, Jude verses 5-7, Deut 32:15-18, 31-33, Isaiah 3:9-16, Jer 23:14, Luke 17:28-37.

2. How do you think we can get the balance right between honouring Christ and not selling out to a sinful world? Have you personally encountered any hostility to your being a Christian? How did you deal with it?

3. What do you think are the best ways to deal any conflicts you have between your own morality and what society is saying in this generation? Do we need to search the Bible for new ways of interpreting things, or do we stick to our guns? How can we equip ourselves to deal with these issues. How does the gospel help us – take a look at 2 Peter 3:9.

4. Take time to pray, to cry out for our world, our nation, our community and those we love. Ask God to make a difference. Pray for yourselves, that the Lord will keep you from stumbling.

MRBC Sunday Service 1st August 2021

Our Sunday Service will be at 10-30am this coming Sunday morning at 10-30am at the church. There are no further recorded services.

Our service is based on materials from Open Doors entitled Among The Ashes which will include a video sermon from Ron Boyd-Macmillan from Open Doors.

More information about Among The Ashes can be obtained by following this link. If you would like to contribute to the work of Open Doors, you will find a link on their website too. The sermon video is below.

For Reflection & Discussion

Read Psalm 6

1. Have you ever been in a situation where everything seemed against you and God seemed to be silent? What happened to change things for you? Look at Deut 3:18, 1 Chron 28:20, 1 Cor 10:13, 1 Peter 5:17, Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 94:14, Romans 8:28. What do these verses tell us about the relationship between God and His people?

2. Look at verses 3-7. On what basis does the psalmist ask God to deliver him? What promises do we rely on as those who are in Christ when we call out to God?

3. Look at verses 8-10. The psalmist is confident all his enemies will be defeated. We thought earlier of our foes not just being people but anything that causes us to be be crushed and defeated. Why can we feel confident that God will hear our prayer and respond?

4. Take time to pray and honestly bring your feelings before God and ask Him for a reply because of “His unfailing love.”

Reproduced below is an EBA video from Light of Life Baptist Church which is referred to in the Weekly Sheet.

MRBC Sunday Service 25th July 2021

Our first live service for eight months will be held at Maidstone Road on Sunday 25th at 10-30am. The service will not be broadcast online on any platform. This week Mark continues our series on Abraham with “Being up front with God.”

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For reflection and discussion

Read Genesis 18

1. What experience do you have of God speaking to you, or speaking to Church. In what ways did that happen and how did you discern it was God speaking?

2. What would you do do if Jesus came into your home today? Look at Romans 8:9-11. How does that change things for you? Knowing what happened when Abraham invited God into his tent, what should we expect from such an encounter?

3. How do we reconcile God’s righteous judgement with knowing that He is a God of love and justice?